Other game developers have certainly taken note of Elden Ring's success, but not everyone is convinced that it has set down a formula that needs to be copied. Team Ninja, the developers behind both Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty and Rise of the Ronin, thinks there's still room for linear Souls-like games in a post-Elden Ring world.
"Yeah, we do think that there’s still a lot of possibility for doing new things in the more mission-based format and structure," said Bloodborne producer Masaaki Yamagiwa in an interview with VGC. Not only is there room, but Yamagiwa also suggested that Wo Long will be a shining example of a linear Souls-like.
In Wo Long, Yamagiwa spoke of the game's "morale system," where morale goes up after defeating enemies and goes down after being killed. Yamagiwa noted that Wo Long will often offer players a choice: take the path with fewer enemies to preserve their morale, or take a path with more and stronger enemies to build their morale even higher. This suggests that there will be multiple linear paths for the player to follow.
Wo Long is taking at least one page out of Elden Ring's book in the morale system. Gaining power involves gauging risk–you could increase your morale, but you might also lose it too if you die. And that can be serious consequences as morale will be tied to your character's magical abilities.
"So, for example, if you get your morale to a certain level, now you can use X or Y type of magic," explained Yamagiwa. "And that’s also going to factor into when you want to try to raise that level, do you want to maintain it? Is that magic going to be something that’s going to be vital for you? It’s all part of this ongoing strategy that you come up with on the fly right as you go through the stage."
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty won't offer players difficulty options, instead allowing them to challenge themselves using this morale system. Wo Long will also offer an additional challenge in making players into enemy combatants for other players.
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